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Everton and Sunderland in race to sign Jack Rodwell

Following the signing of Brazilian midfielder Fernando Franciso Reges, Manchester City, 2/1 to win the Premier League this season, look set to offload Jack Rodwell this summer, with a host of clubs preparing to scramble for his signature.

A former Everton youth product, who joined the Toffees aged just seven, Rodwell could return to his old stomping ground, after spending just two years at the Etihad. The 23-year-old signed for a reported £12m fee in 2012, but has made just 16 league appearances for City, with his stint at the Manchester club derailed by injury.

Now facing competition from the likes of Javi Garcia, Fernandinho and Fernando, the young midfielder may find his best option is to seek game time elsewhere, and it appears he has no shortage of suitors.

City are rumoured to be interested in offering Rodwell as bait to tempt Everton into selling Ross Barkley, who had a stellar season for the Merseyside team, before heading to the World Cup as part of Roy Hodgson’s England squad.

The Sky Blues would offer a bumper player plus cash deal, as they look to boost their quota of homegrown talent. However, whilst it is thought the Toffees would welcome back their former youth star, they are keen to keep hold of talisman Barkley, who may do well to learn from Rodwell’s disappointing move to Manchester.

An Everton midfield containing two of their most prized academy products would be an exciting prospect for the Merseyside club, who are 11/2 for a top four finish this term, and a loan move could still be on the cards.

Sunderland, however, have other ideas and are keen to lure Rodwell to the Stadium of light, following Jack Colback’s departure to Newcastle. In a double swoop that would significantly strengthen Gus Poyet’s side, the Black Cats could also take Chelsea defender Kurt Zouma on a season long-loan.

Whilst a move back to his boyhood club may seem more appealing to Rodwell than joining a side that only just escaped relegation last term, Sunderland could offer a greater chance of guaranteed first-team football. They lack impressive options in midfield, with on-loan South Korean star Ki Sung-Yueng returning to parent club Swansea, and this could tip the balance in their favour.

Despite being highly regarded when he first burst onto the scene, scoring a memorable strike against Manchester United in his debut season, Rodwell has only managed three England caps so far. If he is to reignite his international career, the Stockport-born midfielder will need regular starts. A potential partnership with bright spark Barkley, who looks set to be a Three Lions fixture in years to come, could prove to be beneficial in this regard.

It may not be a straight fight between Sunderland and Everton for the City player’s services, however, with West Brom, and Arsenal, who are 9/1 to win the Premier League title this season, also reported to be circling.